Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 17
Things seem to be falling into place for Gong Shim, but the same can’t be said for Dan-tae. Misunderstandings make the rift grow wider, but when the evidence points to one person in particular, it’s difficult to fathom that someone else may be the real culprit. Tensions are high and the pressure is on as Dan-tae desperately seeks more clues to obtain the truth that had been eluding him all his life.
EPISODE 17 RECAP
While waiting for Gong Shim outside her new workplace, Dan-tae decides to give “Dad’s army friend,” aka Butterfly Tattoo Uncle, a call, in the hopes that someone will pick up this time. As the phone rings, Jun-su and Gong Shim step outside for lunch together.
Gong Shim remarks that Jun-su’s phone is ringing, but he holds up his silent phone to indicate that it’s not. The ringing continues, however, and Gong Shim thinks it’s originating from his bag. He unzips it and finds an additional phone, still ringing; he’s confused by its presence.
Meanwhile, Gong Shim looks up and notices Dan-tae. She greets him, and Jun-su looks up to see Dan-tae staring daggers at him. Dan-tae finally hangs up, which stops the phone in Jun-su’s hand from ringing.
Gong Shim’s coworkers emerge for lunch and encourage her and Jun-su to join them. She can’t back out of her first coworker lunch, so she mouths an apology to Dan-tae for having to cancel on such short notice before joining her new coworkers.
Dan-tae wants answers and grabs Jun-su by the collar, demanding to know why someone else’s phone is in his possession. Jun-su’s unable to answer; he’s not sure what he’s done wrong to warrant such aggression. Dan-tae reveals that he saw Jun-su at the hospital and vows to do everything in his power to find out what Jun-su’s hiding and bring it to light.
That night, Dan-tae sits sullenly at home. Gong Shim brings him a box of fried chicken to make up for their canceled lunch and expresses her love for the new job. She adds that Jun-su’s forming a new company with her design firm, but that he wasn’t involved in any part of her hire.
Gong Mi gets her yoga on at home with a cool PPL phone-watch, which she uses to reply to Jun-su’s text, assuring him that she’ll work hard at his company. The thought of working with him brings a smile to her face.
Gong Shim gets home and shares with her parents how much she’s liking her new job. Jun-su’s affiliation with Gong Shim’s design firm, however, is unwelcome and unexpected news to Gong Mi because that means she and her sister will be working for the same company; Gong Mi doesn’t like that one bit.
A late-night text delights Gong Shim’s father, but he’s unable to reply until his curious wife is fast asleep. Jun-su’s father also receives a late-night text, and his wife tries to open it, but his phone is locked. She asks him why his phone is locked all of a sudden, but he’s so offended by her prying, he leaves the house for some “fresh air.”
Tae-hee/Jun-su’s mother locates her husband through a tracking app on her phone and heads outside to find him. Meanwhile, Jae-boon/Gong Shim’s mother wakes up from her nap and realizes that her husband is missing. She muses that he’s been acting strangely lately, humming and surreptitiously answering calls, and runs out to find him.
Jae-boon and Tae-hee bump into each other on the street. Their animosity remains unchanged as they push past each other to find their respective husbands at, coincidentally, the same music cafe. They can’t believe their eyes when they spot their husbands onstage, performing a duet together, like old bosom buddies. Love. Them.
The wives drag their reluctant husbands out of the cafe, but alas the bromance bonds are unbreakable. Cue melo romance music (typically reserved for Dan-tae and Gong Shim) as Jun-su’s father and Gong Shim’s father dash to each other and meet halfway in the middle of the street. They hold each other’s hands and wish each other well until the day they’ll be able to meet again. Aww forbidden bromance.
The next day, Dan-tae calls the arboretum to look into the gardener who used to work with his father and also handed Jun-su’s mother the note that prompted her to escape. Dan-tae’s not given much information to work with, but he looks through his father’s belongings and finds a planner. Scrawled inside is the address to a small market operated by the gardener’s son.
Dan-tae finds the gardener sitting outside the market with his grandson. He approaches with a photo of Jun-su and asks if the man in the photo coerced the gardener to quit his job at the arboretum. The gardener freezes and denies that he was forced to quit; he deflects Dan-tae’s questioning and rushes inside.
Dan-tae and Jun-su cross paths in the Star Group lobby, and it’s a miracle they don’t engage in fisticuffs. Dan-tae pointedly inquires as to when Jun-su dabbled in bribery to hide people away, but once again, Jun-su has no idea what Dan-tae is insinuating.
Uncle watches their tense encounter from above and grins; his plan is working exactly as planned. Jun-su and Dan-tae are now pitted against each other, and their animosity is growing. A flashback reveals that Uncle had planted his cell phone in Jun-su’s bag while Jun-su was packing up his office. Uncle concludes that because the two men are now enemies, Jun-su will either kick Dan-tae out of the company or at the very least, settle this manner on his own.
Jun-su drops off the unknown phone at a data retrieval service, but he’s told that the chances of recovering information from a reset phone are rather slim. He then stops by Gong Mi’s new office and welcomes her on her first day at the new job. She eyes a gift bag in his hand, but it doesn’t end up going to her.
She catches Jun-su handing the gift bag to Gong Shim. Gong Shim tries to decline the gift, but Jun-su insists she accept it because it’s merely a congratulatory gift for her new job. Gong Shim graciously accepts, and Jun-su looks delighted as she walks away. Meanwhile, Gong Mi’s got disappointment and jealousy written all over her face.
Dan-tae updates his grandmother on the search for the culprit; there’s been zero progress. She warns him to be careful, but there’s something else she’s more interested in: the girl who has Dan-tae smitten. Grandmother wants to meet her this instant and orders Dan-tae to call her.
He does as he’s told, but admits that he’s not sure what to say to Gong Shim. He rings her up… and has no problem spinning an elaborate lie while his grandmother watches with glee, heh.
He tells Gong Shim that because he messed up the chairwoman’s schedule, she canceled all her afternoon events to go speak to him at his rooftop. Dan-tae adds that she’s very cross and asks Gong Shim to do him a favor: appease her until he arrives since he’s “stuck in traffic.” Gong Shim’s freaking out, unsure of how she’ll be able to defuse this situation, but seeing as there seems to be no other option, she agrees to help.
Grandmother has arrived at Dan-tae’s rooftop. Gong Shim greets her and is on her very best behavior, which ends up coming across as rather stiff and awkward. She puts on her biggest smile and compliments Grandmother on her beauty, but Grandmother barely reacts as she sizes Gong Shim up.
Gong Shim escorts Grandmother inside Dan-tae’s humble abode and offers her a beverage, only to open up the mini-fridge and find it empty. Grandmother’s not impressed by Dan-tae’s thrifty living and wonders how he survives like this, but Gong Shim swiftly reassures her that his fridge is not in use because the “fridge downstairs” is the one he actually uses.
Gong Shim calls Gu-nam and asks him to bring up two cold beverages from the store, heh. Grandmother asks Gong Shim about the origin of her last name, her family, and her zodiac sign, and so far so good; she likes what she’s hearing and inquires as to what Gong Shim likes about Dan-tae.
The random question takes Gong Shim by surprise and Grandmother quickly retracts and clarifies that she meant to ask what the holdup is with Dan-tae. Gong Shim wonders the same, musing that it’s not like he’s dumb.
Grandmother takes offense at the “dumb” bit, but Gong Shim reassures her that Dan-tae always gets the job done despite his tardiness. Gong Shim suggests that Grandmother wait for Dan-tae at her home so she’ll be more comfortable, but Grandmother has no intention of budging; she plans on scolding him right here in person, which makes Gong Shim worry.
But a light bulb goes off and Gong Shim heads downstairs to whip up a meal for Grandmother. Grandmother slurps up Gong Shim’s delicious spicy noodles and is impressed by her culinary prowess. She’s curious if Dan-tae is attractive to women even when he lives in such a tiny home, and Gong Shim replies that he is indeed because he’s handsome and confident, despite not being wealthy.
She continues by stating that money can always be earned and that she’s never met anyone like Dan-tae who doesn’t feel inferior to rich people. Her answers seems to please Grandmother, who then asks what qualities she dislikes about Dan-tae.
Gong Shim answers that she hates when Dan-tae picks food off the ground and eats it. This boggles Grandmother’s mind, and Gong Shim guesses that he may have been a beggar in a previous life.
Gong Shim has Grandmother lie down so she can give her a relaxing massage. She entreats her not to scold Dan-tae too harshly because he’s a softhearted soul. Grandmother asks if the purpose of the massage was to convince her to go easy on Dan-tae, before falling into a deep sleep and snoring softly.
Some time later, Dan-tae has arrived and Grandmother is feeling refreshed post-nap. She tells him how hard Gong Shim tried to impress and get her not to scold him that she was barely able to contain her laughter. Dan-tae grins, pleased to hear that his grandmother liked Gong Shim and found her to be cute, sharp, and handy.
Grandmother takes one last look around Dan-tae’s place and urges him to move into his family home soon. She also warns him not to eat food off the ground, but Dan-tae denies doing that.
Over drinks, Gong Mi lies (surprise!) to her sister and mentions that rumors about her possibly nepotistic hire are swirling around the company. Gong Shim frowns, asserting that even her coworkers know that she got hired without Jun-su’s influence and that Jun-su wasn’t even aware that she applied for a job until afterward.
Gong Mi calls her naive and advises her against being so friendly with Jun-su at work. She adds that as her older sister, she’s simply looking out for Gong Shim. Mhmm.
Back on the rooftop, Dan-tae thanks Gong Shim for her efforts because the chairwoman ended up forgiving him for his negligence. She warns him not to get on her bad side again, but offers to help out should he make the same mistake.
Gong Shim mentions that the chairwoman asked her a lot of weird questions and that it felt like she was being interviewed, and Dan-tae hastily explains that the chairwoman’s very inquisitive, heh. He asks how she made the chairwoman fall asleep, and Gong Shim states that she massaged her.
She offers to massage Dan-tae as well, but he’s hesitant about the idea. Gong Shim ignores his protests and massages his shoulders for a hot second before he squirms away and cackles maniacally. Turns out he’s very ticklish so Gong Shim proceeds to tickle him all over, and in doing so, she falls on top of him. There’s a brief, charged moment between the two before they get up and act like nothing happened.
The next day, Jun-su returns from the arboretum and informs his uncle that he wasn’t able to locate the gardener who helped his mother escape before Dan-tae arrived. He asks if Uncle hid him somewhere, but Uncle denies doing such thing.
Uncle slyly proposes that Jun-su get rid of Dan-tae to ease his nerves; after all, Jun-su brought Dan-tae to Star Group, so he should resolve the Dan-tae issue on his own. When Jun-su leaves the room, Uncle muses that the gardener is his insurance should Jun-su or anyone else pester him about the case.
Dan-tae jots down Jun-su’s license plate number and heads to his father’s hospital. He gathers some details from the parking attendant and a surveillance officer, and is able to deduce the time frame during which Jun-su was at the hospital the day of his father’s near death experience. CCTV footage from another corridor captured Jun-su walking towards Dan-tae’s father’s room.
The data retrieval team was able to recover one outgoing call from the mysterious phone that was in Jun-su’s bag. Jun-su calls the number and is alarmed when Dan-tae’s aunt picks up. She’s livid and demands to know who the caller is and if this was another attempt at murdering Dan-tae’s father.
Dan-tae takes the phone from his aunt and furiously addresses the silent caller by his name: “Seok Jun-su, why did you call again. WHY? Did you intend to kill my father again?”
Jun-su doesn’t say a word and hangs up immediately, struggling to process the fact that his uncle tried to kill Dan-tae’s father.
Jun-su confronts his uncle and demands to know why:
Jun-su: “After confirming that Dan-tae wasn’t Jun-pyo, I was going to end my search for him and cover up everything to conceal Mother’s crime. That was my intention, but now I think my reasoning was wrong. You tried to murder someone. I won’t be able to forgive you now. I can’t do this any longer.”
Uncle remains undaunted and asks what Jun-su plans on doing next. Jun-su declares that he’ll reveal everything. Just as he’s about to leave, Uncle stops him and recommends that he listen to something.
With the speakerphone on, Uncle dials his sister and brings up Dan-tae’s father. She frantically asks if he was properly dealt with so he wouldn’t be able to incriminate them.
Jun-su’s knees buckle upon hearing his mother’s words and learning that she was involved in the attempted murder of Dan-tae’s father.
Uncle hangs up and asks Jun-su again what he plans on doing now that he knows the truth about his mother. He states that Jun-pyo’s kidnapping and lengthy disappearance were all his mother’s doing and that he merely followed his sister’s instructions because he needed the money. Jun-su’s visibly upset and shaken. And the worst uncle/brother award goes to…
Dan-tae marches to Jun-su’s office but finds the door locked; Jun-su’s not answering his phone either. Jun-su decides to take a short trip somewhere and be off the grid.
That evening, Dan-tae and Gong Shim hold hands on their date. She comments that Jun-su is taking a vacation, but finds the timing strange since he just started his new company and there’s so much work to be done.
Dan-tae turns to face her and urges her to quit her new job because he hates that she’s working at Jun-su’s company. Gong Shim’s taken aback by his request and wants to know why he feels that way, when he’s fully aware of how much she likes her job. He doesn’t justify his statement, and Gong Shim calls him selfish before storming off. Later on, Dan-tae finds Gong Shim standing on the roof, and she gives it to him straight.
Gong Shim: “Ahn Dan-tae, why are you so dense? I’m dense, too, so I can’t do two things at once. I’m incapable of seeing two men at once because I’m dumb. I only have feelings for you, no one else, so stop misunderstanding.”
Dan-tae embraces her and afterwards, gives her a quick peck on the lips before going in for deeper kiss. When he pulls away, the two are adorably shy and giddy about it. Dan-tae gives her another quick smooch and Gong Shim covers her face with her hands, heh.
The following day, Uncle catches Dan-tae on his way out to tend to his father at the hospital. He expresses sympathy and concern for Dan-tae since it’s difficult look after someone in the ICU and urges him to go quickly. Dan-tae appreciates his concern, but realization hits, and he wonders how Jun-su’s uncle knew his father was in the ICU.
At the hospital, Dan-tae scans through old surveillance footage and immediately spots Jun-su’s uncle walking out of the ICU the day his father nearly died. The possibility of Jun-su’s uncle as the culprit finally occurs to Dan-tae, and he wonders if his father and Jun-su’s uncle personally knew each other.
Dan-tae learns that Jun-su’s uncle was in the same platoon as his father when they served in the army. He visits his father’s army friend at the restaurant he works at to find out more. The restaurant owner informs Dan-tae that he knows Jun-su’s uncle, Yeom Tae-cheol, very well since they were in the same platoon along with Dan-tae’s father.
He mentions that Tae-cheol came looking for Dan-tae’s father a few months ago, asking around for his contact information. Tae-cheol and Dan-tae’s father were close, he says, and he brings out an old, black-and-white photo to prove it. Taken while the men were serving in the army, Tae-cheol smiles for the camera with his arms around Dan-tae’s father.
The dots start connecting, and the disjointed clues begin to make sense in rapid succession as Dan-tae drives to Star Group. He storms into Uncle’s office, grabs his arm and pushes up his sleeve, revealing a butterfly tattoo.
“Yeom Tae-cheol. It was you,” Dan-tae says with conviction.
Seventeen episodes. It took seventeen episodes for Dan-tae and Gong Shim to finally kiss and for Dan-tae to realize that Butterfly Tattoo Uncle is the culprit. While I’m relieved that we’ve finally reached this turning point, the birth secret storyline dragged immensely and made for a rather anticlimactic confrontation between Dan-tae and Uncle; we viewers knew early on who the villain was, and we kept checking our watches wondering when Dan-tae would figure it out. Well, it was about time. The kisse(s), albeit delayed, came at the right moment. Gong Shim felt vulnerable, expressing how much she likes Dan-tae and only Dan-tae, but his kiss basically confirmed that the feelings are mutual, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. And if she had any lingering doubts, that extra smooch at the end probably dispelled them.
I’m a bit puzzled by Jun-su’s spur-of-the-moment trip. I understand he must be feeling overwhelmed and beyond upset by the crimes orchestrated by his mother and uncle, but where did he go? Is this his way of giving up and surrendering to Uncle’s guilt-tripping? Was he trying to run away (temporarily) from his problems in typical chaebol evasion fashion? If that’s the case, that’s very atypical of him; the chaebol conventions have largely been subverted in this drama, and it’s been a nice change. I miss the Jun-su who was so determined to find the truth about Dan-tae and Jun-pyo. If the boys put aside their resentment for just a moment, I’m pretty sure they could’ve cleared the air and perhaps even work together towards the truth. That would’ve been fun to see. Maybe there’s still a chance for that later on now that Dan-tae knows Uncle is the real culprit.
There’s Gong Shim, and then there’s everyone else tied to the Jun-pyo case. Two separate entities. Still. I’m frustrated by the fact that Gong Shim hasn’t the slightest idea about Dan-tae’s kidnapper search because Dan-tae hasn’t said a peep about it to her. I think it’s safe to say that they’re now officially boyfriend and girlfriend, so why isn’t Dan-tae spilling? He’s able to tell her that he doesn’t like her working for Jun-su, but stops short at explaining why. Of course he came across as selfish when he said that. She incorrectly surmised that Dan-tae feared her feelings for him would change from working with Jun-su, when really, I think Dan-tae was more concerned about her safety, working with the man who may have tried to kill his father. I’ve noticed that Gong Shim almost always does most of the talking, and Dan-tae just listens silently without responding much. Sure, he’s got a lot on his mind, but I also think she does more for him, and that their relationship is rather imbalanced. Gong Shim is very much a giver, but I’d like to see Dan-tae step up and be a better boyfriend to her by opening up more.
The cute always overshadowed the birth secret, but in this episode, even the cute seemed rather dull, except for one golden moment involving Gong Shim’s father and Jun-su’s father. Two friends, united by their love of music, singing together on stage. Their bromance symbolized by the heart they lovingly formed with their curved palms, only to be pulled apart by their disapproving wives who can’t put aside their differences…I wouldn’t mind some more bromance from the goofy dads because Dan-tae and Jun-su are having a dry spell, and it’s going to be awhile before rainbows and sunshine appear to clear the stormy clouds above their heads.
Three more episodes to go, and for me, that seems like quite a lot of real estate for a plot that’s about to run its course. But throw in some more daddy duets, and I’ll stay for the ride. Have Dan-tae and Jun-su hug it out and go back to being buddies and I’ll be satisfied. All I ask is for the Dan-tae/Jun-su/Gong Shim friendship trio to stay intact!
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 16
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 15
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 14
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 13
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 12
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 11
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 10
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 9
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 8
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 7
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 6
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 5
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 4
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 3
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 2
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 1